Much to my surprise, 8W were all ready for departure on Tuesday morning at 7.20 a.m. for our visit to London. Sadly, our minibus was not, but with George’s excellent driving and a clever satnav we arrived safely at St Paul’s in good time. We started with a brisk tour round the main body of the church examining all the key features. We then made our ascent to the top of the dome.
We paused at the Whispering Gallery level, where 8W practised whispering (not something that comes easily to them!) and then we headed for the top. Not everyone faced the final climb with the enthusiasm of Sir Edmund Hillary heading up Everest. Dylan was not encouraged by the gaps between the stone steps (what was holding them up?) and when we got to the top there were several backs pressed to the wall. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the spectacular views over the city and were able to spot all the main landmarks and observe the street patterns, set out largely as they had been in the Middle Ages.
After this we had worked up an appetite and heading for the fine dining experience of McDonalds. This delighted the children, though having just walked past the Savoy, A.G.W. would have preferred to have been there instead. After this we headed for the National Portrait Gallery and had a really enjoyable workshop with our excellent guide, Julie. She got 8W to examine a selection of key Tudor and early Stuart portraits and the children answered very intelligently. They will look at portraits with a fresh eye in the future.
We returned tired but stimulated after an excellent day. Thanks go to Mrs Redstone and Miss Viney for accompanying us.